The benefits of wine

by Lorin Michel Sunday, January 4, 2015 7:05 PM

This past week at least two of my friends, Pam and Bobbi, posted the New Year’s resolutions of Women & Wine. I don’t generally subscribe to resolutions as I feel they set people up for failure. I am making an exception for these particular resolutions …

1) drink more wine
2) share more wine
3) gift more wine
4) buy more wine
5) make new friends over a glass of wine (my fav!)
6) travel to wine country
7) read a few great wine books
8) try wines from regions you don't know
9) once a _________(fill in week, month, etc) treat yourself to a wine that's $10 more than you usually spend)
10) always keep a bottle (or two) of Champagne or other bubbly in the frig to make any occasion a 'special one'

… and I’ll tell you why: Wine is good for you, even better than originally thought. For years, we’ve all heard about the benefits of resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine. It’s good for the heart, for skin, for the brain. Supposedly it can even make you live longer while also helping prevent certain cancers. Now comes word that there are other benefits like reducing the risk of depression and preventing colon cancer.

Whereas some say that drinking can be a risk factor for breast cancer, others say moderate wine consumption can help prevent it, at least according to researchers at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Wine can help prevent dementia, according to a research team from Loyola University Medical Center, and may also help prevent the eye diseases that can lead to blindness, like diabetic retinopathy. It can help protect the skin from severe sunburn. Wine can improve lung function and even protect the brain from stroke damage. Believe it or not, wine is one of the few alcohols that can actually prevent liver disease. It can protect men from prostate cancer, prevent type 2 diabetes, and may even be used to prevent cavities; maybe to treat acne.

I like mine as a means to prevent over-stressing while promoting relaxation.

When wine making arrived in ancient Greece by way of Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, it was enjoyed by many causing its popularity to grow exponentially. Hippocrates promoted it as part of a healthy diet. He was also an advocate for using it to help medications go down more easily. Years later, the Bible got in on it when Paul the Apostle recommended a little wine to help with digestion. Once the Middle Ages rolled around, the Catholic monks got in the vibe by using wine as a medicinal treatment. The first printed book on wine, written by physician Arnaldus de Villa Nova, advocated for wine’s use to treat many illnesses including sinus problems and dementia.

It has been theorized that one of the reasons wine was so popular once upon a time was because of the scarcity of safe drinking water. In fact, during the 1892 cholera epidemic in Hamburg, Germany, wine was used to sterilize water. It wasn’t until the 20th century that people decided that wine was bad. Prohibition forbid drinking wine or any spirits. It was a dark time.

Luckily that got repealed. And thanks to Women and Wine and medical professionals around the world, the idea of wine as resolution is actually good for you in many more ways than one. I say bring it on. Raise a glass. Toast something. Get healthy. And live it out loud.

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live out loud

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